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“Africa” at Atlas

by Leila
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Veiled Orma Woman, Kenya, 1969 © Mirella Ricciardi

Zebras Turning Heads, Ngorongoro Crater 2005 ©Nick Brandt

The Atlas Gallery in London is displaying until the 9th of October 2010, a collection of photographs by renowned artists Nick Brandt, Irving Penn, Mirella Ricciardi, Leni Riefenstahl, and George Rodger.

In contrast with the usual full colour photographs displayed when the subject revolves around a similar theme, this exhibition is for sure very refreshing. Black and white images of beautiful African landscape and fauna, featuring animals such as lions, giraffes, zebras and elephants, take you to the wild, with its large surfaces, its faraway horizons, and its untouched nature.  Animals seem fearless of the artist, and while in their natural habitat, seem to have developed a certain complicity with their surroundings that enabled the photograph to perfectly illustrate those moments for current and future generations. We should probably admire the artistic skill and the time the photographers dedicated to choosing the right moment with the right angle and the right colour.

The exhibition featured in particular Nick Brandt’s “Elephant drinking”, a 2007 photograph, the most expensive of the event,  valued at 60,000£ in a 41 x 53.5” edition 12/15 , signed and dated.  Another image by Nick Brandt was the “Zebras Turning Heads, Ngorongoro- Crater 2005“,here displayed.

Next to those photographs was also displayed a series of images of individuals from different African tribes from Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.  Portraits of individuals, or still shots of daily traditional scenes of two  or more women, children or wrestlers, in  their traditional attire and in their natural element, as if stolen from another century where time stood still, emphasizes the simplicity of the continent, its beauty, its innocence and relaxed atmosphere. This feel is most noticeable in the frames of Mirella Ricciardi and Leni Riefenstahl .

Further  information on the gallery and on the exhibition is available at http://www.atlasgallery.com

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